With several North American promoters trying hard to bring a World Cup to the continent, will the series continue long enough for American fans to witness such a groundbreaking expansion? In Europe, controversy is brewing over several prominent people calling for an end to the UCI World Cup.
According to standaard.be, the very first World Cup winner, Paul Herijgers, is calling for the World Cup to be abolished and the resources be dedicated to developing youth in the sport.
Rene Vermeiren, a member of the UCI’s own cyclocross committee, goes one step further and claims the World Cup is causing a decline in ‘cross.
But the standaard.be reports that Peter Van Den Abeele, the UCI head of cyclocross, strongly disagrees with such remarks and is not in support of any such change. “Those people do not know what they are talking about. As for the training of youth is a task for each national federation and that is certainly not a job for the UCI,” said Van Den Abeele.
He cited the strong international presence at the past World Cups this year as signs of the strength and growth of the sport. “…in the Czech Tabor 14 and again in Kalmthout 17,” Van Den Abeele reports, but admits that in Belgium perhaps there may be too many events.
Erwin Vervecken agrees with Van Den Abeele, with the Wieler Update is reporting Vervecken testifying, “It would not be right if the UCI abolished [the World Cup]. It is the most valuable ranking currently.”
While the three-time World Champion’s support is significant, American fans’ dreams to see a World Cup on American soil certainly depend on Van Den Abeele having more than just Vervecken’s support. Will the rest of the UCI’s own committee agree?